Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (Xbox 360)
Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:20 AM
The game plays much like a third person action game with platforming elements like Tomb Raider or Uncharted for the most part, but with a very stylistic touch added. Monkey is strong man, possess a shield for added protection against robot gunfire. Monkey has his staff as main weapon of choice. He uses it with light and heavy combos, and wide area attacks, he can also charge attack like Ninja Gaiden. Monkeys staff is also useful for ranged attacks, like taking out distant shielded mechs or turrets. He can pick up blast ammo and stun ammo for his staff, the stun ammo drops enemy mechs shields to make the vulnerable to the blast ammo. The gameplay is not that deep but very satisfying to bash down on some mechs with staff and his fists. Monkey also possess something called the "cloud", it is basically a "hover-board" that he uses on certain levels to get to certain points untouchable to clear a path for Trip. Trip has the ability to cast up a decoy when you are pinned down by mech fire. Planting the decoy is key to flank and getting closer to turrets and enemy mechs. She can also follow or stop at will, these commands are all done with a radius wheel like interface and easily accessible. Trip scan areas before entering to see any kinds of hazards in the way or alternate routes to take.
The upgrading system for Monkey is all done through Trip, killing mechs earns him tech orbs. Tech orbs can purchase upgrades for Monkeys' shield, health, combat, and staff. Learning new moves like counters and evades are good touch and keep you on your toes in heavy combat. The platforming parts of the game are done very well and play smooth. Much like uncharted you making that "leap of faith" to get to the next rock is well implemented in this game. The game is very linear in the sense that there is only one path through the game, but are lots of nooks and crannies for you to explorer to collect more tech orbs or masks. If monkey comes across a mask he head is filled with real images of something that is later explained at the end of the game. Mashed up visions of something in the real world from the past. The graphics in the game are amazing to say the least, great draw distance and very colorful art style for such a depressed world. The characters are what set the game off for me, the look and emotion of all (not many) of the characters is something else. With real actors working the facial expressions in the scenes, it brings those CG parts to life for me. Ninja Theory really knows how to do this really really good! I really felt an emotional attachment to these two characters and what they were going through in my playthrough of the game.
The boss fight in the game are well done and can be a challenge to some extent if you don't know what to do. They are very random and can happen at any time, which is a great mix up. Its not like most games where you know something is going to be coming up soon. Enslaved audio is of great caliber too, the voice acting is supreme. Even though its hard to bear the accent that is played for Monkey, Trip is very well done and such a great character because of her knowledge and delivery. The music is very subtle at times and ramps up on que when it needs to be, very cinematic and orchestral . The game took me between 8-10 hours to beat and I have to say was a great journey in the end. I wanted to go back and crank the difficulty and take another crack at it right away. The ending is something of a shock and doesn't seem like what you would think its all is about, but leaves you to wonder. If you are a fan of any of those third person platformers I mentioned earlier and a fan of good solid single player journeies then Enslaved will be worth you time for sure. Great style and character designs are just some of the many things this game does well. Solid game, just wish it was even longer.
Solid Rental -- Better at cheap price!
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